Posted in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Union Memorial School

Nonfiction: Why It’s Important

non·fic·tion: the branch of literature comprising works of narrative prose dealing with or offering opinions or conjectures upon facts and reality

Some of our young students have been diligently studying nonfiction texts and the many ways in which nonfiction texts are useful to readers and researchers.


As part of their study, students in Tracy Hughes’s first-grade class (check out her blog here) and Erin Sorenson’s first-grade class (check out her blog here) at Union Memorial School are exploring the various components of nonfiction texts, such as the table of contents and the index, and they are learning more specifically about ways to approach these materials—for example, how to identify and zero in on an element that will help to answer a particular question or offer information about a topic of specific interest.

Why is this important?

Because in addition to developing students’ ability to contemplate an author’s purpose, this work of critically engaging with the books helps to increase students’ comprehension skills, including sharpening their ability to effectively understand and analyze text and to accurately recall and restate facts.


(Please click here to view an iMovie of Mrs. Sorenson’s students’ engagement with nonfiction texts.)

This study of nonfiction is another component of UMS’s literacy instruction, which includes the Junior Great Books program, an emergent reading program, a guided reading program, annual participation in the Red Clover event, the Title I program, participation in special reading competitions, and more. (To read our five-part primer on literacy, please click here.)

For more information about UMS students’ study of nonfiction texts, please call UMS at (802) 264-5959. You may also e-mail Tracy Hughes at or Erin Sorenson at

Books with glasses_s

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